“If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.”
Conversations. We have them all the time. With family, colleagues, friends, our dog—even ourselves. They’ve been taking place since the dawn of time. Conversing with others probably began like this:
Adam: “Why did you do that!? I told you not to eat from the forbidden tree! I can’t believe you would listen to that serpent’s lies! If you’d had a mother, you’d probably be just like her!!!”
Eve: “You did it, too! And why didn’t you kill that snake? You told me weeks ago you’d handle it. It wasn’t my fault. Why can’t you be more like your father???”
In recent years, there’s been a movement in the corporate world toward making conversations not only healthy but “fierce” and “crucial.”
I say let’s use QBQ! and make them accountable. Here’s how an “Accountable Conversation” would go:
Manager: “Well, your results in this area are off. How can I be a better coach for you?”
Employee: “Yes, I struggled on that project. What can I do to learn, grow, and change?”
Sure beats this Blame Exchange:
Manager: “When will you start performing? Why aren’t you more motivated!?”
Employee: “Why didn’t you train me? You never spend any time coaching me!”
If you’ve read QBQ!, Flipping the Switch, or Parenting the QBQ Way, experienced one of our QBQ! speakers, or been through our training program, you know that a better question—The Question Behind the Question—begins with “What” or “How” and contains the personal pronoun “I.” Questions built like this keep us out of victim thinking and finger-pointing.
But QBQs also have a spirit that shapes our attitude and approach to communicating and conversing. When two people talk with each other in the spirit of QBQ!, their exchange is under girded by …
Personal accountability and ownership
Humility and contrition
Desire to learn and change oneself
Forgiveness and grace
Patience and understanding
Imagine how using the QBQ! Spirit would’ve affected one of the world’s first conversations! Let’s listen in:
Adam: “You know, the whole fruit tree thing was my fault. I told you I’d get rid of the snake and chop down that tree, but I didn’t. I need to follow through on my commitments. I’m sorry.”
Eve: “I always knew that talking to the serpent was risky, but I just wasn’t thinking. I need to do a better job of disciplining myself. I’m sorry, too.”
If that Accountable Conversation had taken place—maybe our world would be a better place!
Of course, employing the QBQ! Spirit in our conversations today can make our personal world better, too.
Is there someone you need to hold an Accountable Conversation with? What will be the benefit? When will you do it?
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